Have you developed your Life Skills?
As we learned in part one, effective communication starts out with knowing and understanding yourself. In that article, I wrote about interpersonal communication barriers. We will continue to learn how to be an engaged listener and break communication road blocks.
A key to Effective Communication is being an Engaged Listener:
When trying to improve our communications skills, we may put our main focus on our talking abilities. But effective communication should emphasize engaged listening. When you are involved, you will notice the hints reveal in the other person’s speech. For instance, subtle changes in voice or body movements, suggestions about what they mean or what they need. Another personal example would be when my husband and I went to a charity benefit At the benefit, they were auctioning off items. When tickets to hear Taylor Swift was the item, I said, “Oh that would be something I’d like to hear”. Later, my husband gave me tickets to the event for Mother’s day. I was delighted and surprised! He was listening and paying attention to what I was saying. In life having those around you feel heard and understood is an important part of communication. Effective communication is not a one-way street.
Tricks to being an Engaged Listener:
• Concentrate on the speaker
• Ask thoughtful questions
• Make interested comments on what is said
• Avoid Interrupting
• Sidestep trying to always redirect the conversation to only your interests.
• Give out signals and gestures that you are interested
• Set aside criticism and pursue understanding
• Give Feedback to what you heard
You have spent years developing your communication mannerisms. It will take time and practice to change. But communication is an important skill to have in all aspects of life. I have given you a few tips to help you begin the process to be an effective communicator. Practice these methods and you should begin to have more meaningful conversations and less misunderstanding and conflict. To read more from this author, go to www.supportivetalk.com
If you would like to read more about communication, try the below books from Amazon like Effective Communication Skills by Daniel Jones and It’s the Way you Say it: Becoming Articulate, Well-spoken and Clear. By Carol A. Fleming.